Usually, there's a situation in a sitcom. That's where the word comes from.
Satisfaction laughs at that perfunctory requirement. It doesn't even bother to explain what its situation is, although you can probably guess by the end of the first episode: hot, young, upwardly mobile couple find their style slightly cramped by the slobby friend/lodger who's always getting in the way of their couple-y fun.
Yet for all the focus placed on this situation in the pilot episode, it might as well be about the difficulties of keeping meat fresh in the summer, that's how little interest the premise is to the writers. But stop right there. This isn't necessarily a bad thing in Canadian sitcoms: place too much emphasis on the sit instead of the com and you end up with high-concept shows, such as InSecurity and Seed, with well developed situations that don't actually make you laugh.
Satisfaction, however, which foregoes not just situation but also much similarity to reality, despite being based on "real life experiences", does at least pass the critical "five laughs per episode" threshold for a sitcom.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, break open the champagne: we actually have a moderately funny Canadian sitcom on our hands. Here's a trailer:
In the US: Sundays, 10pm, Showtime. Starts June 30 In the UK: Tuesdays, 10pm, Sky Atlantic. Starts July 16th
There's presumably rather a lot of sh*t going down in LA, thanks to a combination of huge amounts of money and the number of famous people with personality issues, addictions and secrets they'd rather people didn't know about them. So equally presumably there's a group of people whose life it is to help cover up the inevitable colossal cock-ups that result from the collision of these things.
Ray Donovan, created by Southland's Ann Biderman, looks at one such man, the eponymous Ray Donovan (Live Schreiber, last seen doing TV work on CSI) - the Mr Wolf of the entertainment business
for whom no clean-up job, whether it be a stalker, a dead woman or a 'straight' actor who likes to pick up gay, transvestite hookers, is too hard and who'll stop at nothing, even murder, if he has, too. The only thing he can't fix? His relationships, particularly when his father (Jon Voight) comes out of prison and starts to put his nose into his family's affairs. Here's a trailer, and if you're in the US, the entire first episode for you to enjoy.
Last week, 'Charley Says' reminded us all just how scared sh*tless Britain was by the threat of nuclear war during the 1960s and 1970s - understandably perhaps, given the risk of destruction of the entire human race. Nevertheless, despite the release of Protect and Survive, not many people were optimistic about their chances come Armageddon.
In part, that's thanks to the likes of this week's Wednesday Play, The War Game, which was a genuine Wednesday Play from 1965. Written, directed and produced by Peter Watkins, this documentary-style production imagined what would happen if there was a limited nuclear strike against Britain. And it's not pretty, with the instant blinding of those who see the explosion, a firestorm caused by the heat wave, radiation sickness, the British Army burning corpses and the police shooting looters during food riots.
Interspersed throughout the play are interviews with a series of establishment figures in favour of nuclear weapons and even nuclear war that were based on genuine quotations, as well as interviews with a doctor, a psychiatrist and others, giving details of the effects of nuclear weapons on the human body and mind.
Well, no. In fact, following its transmission on 6 August 1965 (the 20th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing), the BBC said that "the effect of the film has been judged by the BBC to be too horrifying for the medium of broadcasting" and withdrew it, never to air it in full until 1985. But, hey, lucky people, you can watch it now! Remember - if you like it, buy it.
About the blog
A UK media blog focusing on the best scripted TV from around the world, with daily news, views, exclusive reviews and good conversation. There's a bit of a bias towards the latest and greatest US TV, but we also cover Scandinavian, Canadian, European and Antipodean TV, as well as UK TV ranging from new Doctor Who to old Z Cars, and BBC4 to S4C.
Add in film, theatre, art, books, events, competitions and even weekly reviews of Wonder Woman comics, and you've (hopefully) got officially the fourth best blog on the web for media lovers. Oh yes, and there's The Barrometer, the ultimate guide to quality TV.
Praise for the blog Cision: fourth most important UK TV blog Blogging Edge: Blogger running Britain 2013
"For most of us watching the telly of an evening is a way to wind down and relax, but for Rob Buckley it’s his blogging bread and butter. With reviews of cult classics and up and coming US and Brit television shows, The Medium is Not Enough is fast becoming essential reading for TV buffs, with over 50,000 hits a month."
"The Medium Is Not Enough is a light-hearted look at TV, often from the US, but also from the UK. With varied, well-written content, the blog features healthy engagement and features well in search engines."
"Billing itself as 'officially the fourth most popular UK TV blog', there are several whimsical regulars here that could help it climb as high as number three…"
I'm Rob Buckley, a freelance journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of, although you might have heard me on Radio 5 Live's Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I've edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for trade magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider and the equally short-lived Death Ray and Filmstar magazines; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it "web site for urban hedonists" The Tribe. I'm freelance now and have contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network and TV Scoop.